Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
The Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce, BTWBA and WXYZ-TV will host the final debate between Detroit mayoral candidates Benny Napoleon and Mike Duggan on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The debate takes place exactly one week before Detroiters go to the polls to choose their next mayor.
The candidates will face-off at Channel 7’s Broadcast House from 7-8 p.m. in front of a live studio audience. A larger audience of Detroit voters will watch and participate in the debate from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History where Channel 7 anchor/reporter Glenda Lewis will be on hand. Channel 7 Action News anchor Stephen Clark will moderate a special post-debate webcast from 8-8:30 p.m. from the museum hosted by the Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce and Booker T. Washington Business Association.
“The Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce is committed to bringing value, leadership and advocacy to its members and partnering with WXYZ-TV and BTWBA for this mayoral debate shows that by working together we can better serve the residents of Detroit. This is the final mayoral debate, I personally urge each and every Detroit voter to make your voice heard on Nov. 5th,” said Tony Stovall, president of the DBCC.
Channel 7’s editorial and public affairs director Chuck Stokes will moderate this final Detroit mayoral debate. Questions will be asked by a panel that includes Carolyn Clifford, 7 Action News anchor; Lloyd Jackson, WJR News/Talk 760 assistant news director; Bankole Thompson, senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle; and Crain’s Detroit Business Publisher Mary Kramer. The Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce and Booker T. Washington Business Association are also participating sponsors of the debate.
Viewers will be able to watch the debate live on WXYZ-TV as well as on wxyz.com and the station’s mobile apps and us #7Debate.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 09:46
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
The Detroit City Council voted on Monday unanimously against another deal organized by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr designed to save the city millions of dollar. A $350-million loan for bankruptcy financing secured by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, The Detroit News reports.
The state’s emergency manager law allows the City Council to accept or reject the deal. The six-member council now has seven days to propose an alternative to the state’s local emergency loan board that would reach the same financial result as Orr’s agreement or better.
It didn’t appear Monday the council would offer an alternative. Instead, it will let bankruptcy court proceedings play out.
“The reality is, it seems to me, that one could make the argument that an alternative plan is not to act on this at all, but rather to fight on this issue in bankruptcy court,” Councilman Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said, questioning the timing of Orr’s deal.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 October 2013 22:51
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Reuters
(Reuters) - Macy's Inc (M.N) said on Monday that most of its stores will open on the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday for the first time in its history, in a sign of how competitive the holiday season is shaping up.
Macy's will open the doors at most of its 800 namesake department stores, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 28. The company said the shift was voluntary for workers and that the move was "consistent" with what many rivals are doing.
The name of company, which has sponsored New York's Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade since 1924, is virtually synonymous with the holiday.
Traditionally, retailers have waited until Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving, to start their big end-of-the-year push for sales.
U.S. retailers have extended their Black Friday hours every year in recent years to get a jump on the sales events that kick off the holiday season, when they earn more than a third of their annual sales in the holiday season.
Many retailers, including Macy's, reported disappointing second-quarter sales, pressuring them to try to make up those sales during the holiday season.
Macy's opened most of its stores at midnight in 2011 and 2012 to kick off the Black Friday sales after opening later in the morning in prior years. But some of its rivals have opened earlier and earlier, pressuring Macy's.
Last year, Macy's rival Lord & Taylor, owned by Hudson's Bay Co (HBC.TO), opened some stores for business on Thanksgiving for the first time. Sears Holdings Corp's (SHLD.O) namesake chain was also open.
In 2012, Target Corp (TGT.N) opened at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than a year earlier, when it was closed on Thanksgiving.
Macy's said in a statement that the earlier opening was to cater to shoppers who prefer to start shopping earlier.
One associate in the men's sportswear section at the Macy's flagship in Manhattan said he volunteered to work on Thanksgiving.
"I'm going to gladly work that shift because I don't want to work on Black Friday," he said.
But another associate said Thanksgiving with her family was too "sacred" for her to go to work.
Last year, several petitions were created on website Change.org suggesting that chains keep their doors shut on Thanksgiving, which is a major national, non-denominational holiday in the United States. Change.org is a website that allows people to create and sign petitions.
Rowland H. Macy opened R.H. Macy & Co as a dry goods store in New York City in 1858.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Carol Bishopric)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 09:38
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by M Live
DETROIT, MI - Buses aren't running in Detroit Monday after drivers allegedly called in sick to protest dangerous working conditions.
A recording to on the Detroit Department of Transportation's hotline says buses won't run today.
"Sorry to announce the bus drivers union has scheduled a sick out on Monday, Oct. 21," a recorded message says. "Bus service will not be in operation." Continue to MLive.com
Last Updated on Monday, 21 October 2013 09:33
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Donald James
First of Two Parts
Bishop Allyson D. Nelson Abrams, outgoing secretary of the Detroit Council of Baptist Pastors, is a Christian spiritual leader, national speaker, theological teacher and author who has built a strong reputation in African American faith-based communities around Detroit and across the nation. For more than five years, she has served as pastor of Zion Progress Baptist Church, located in downtown Detroit. On Friday, October 18, 2013, Bishop Abrams will officially step down as pastor.
Abrams’ decision to leave Zion Progress is based on the revelation she made to her congregation on Sunday, Oct. 6. She announced that she is now in a same-sex marriage. “With some buzz going around about my same-sex marriage, I wanted my church to hear from me before members heard it from other sources. I had already talked with my deacons,” said Abrams. “I knew that it would eventually get to my congregation. So I stood in my pulpit and openly talked about love, Christ, and that I was married, and it was a same-gender marriage.”
According to the 43-year-old pastor, there were a myriad of reactions from the congregation. She said some expressed disappointment and many expressed love and support. Abrams said the next day, a groundswell of calls poured in, some, said Abrams, from members who have not actively attended Zion Progress Baptist Church in years.
“Some members asked me to stay. Some said if I was leaving, they would go with me to another church. Some members even said that if I was going out of the state, they would go to another church.”
Abrams quickly realized that her same-gender marriage had the potential to cause a deep divide, so deep that even families in the church were split on which side of the issue to stand on.
“It is not my desire to split the church,” Abrams said, during an exclusive interview at the Michigan Chronicle office.
“It really hurts me because I don’t want to be the reason for the church to split, and potentially for family members to be at odds with one another. Therefore, I felt that it was in the best interest of everyone to resign.”
Abrams also severed ties with other faith-based organizations in the region. After a nine-year stint with the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit, she stepped down, citing that she didn’t want to be the topic of proposed meetings on the issue, which could have ultimately caused a rift within the Council.
“I want to make it clear that I was not forced out or put out as some rumors have suggested,” said Abrams. “I’ve had many calls from people in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and other places who have asked me about leaving the Council. I was not put out; I resigned.”
In addition, Abrams removed her church from the Baptist Missionary and Education State Convention, as well as the Progressive National Baptist Convention. She also stepped down from her co-editorship of the nationally published Progress National Baptist Convention magazine, The Baptist Progress.
After several decades of serving and leading in the African-American faith community, Abrams knew that her marital status would not sit well with everyone.
Nevertheless, Abrams has proudly identified her new spouse as Bishop Emeritus Diana Williams of the Imani Temple of the African-American Catholic Congregation in Washington, D..C. The couple married in March of 2013 in Iowa.
“She is definitely my best friend, a wonderful person and is a support system to me in tremendous ways,” Abrams said. “We have a lot in common. We have similar visions, missions and goals. We complement each other very well in how best to serve God.”
Abrams added that when she (Abrams) was consecrated as bishop on April 14, 2012, the topic of same-sex marriage or gay relationships was never brought up, as it was not on her heart or in her spirit at the time. About a year or so before she was married, she became open for love, and love not necessarily from a certain gender.
“At some point you have to be honest with yourself,” said Abrams. “This is my first same-gender relationship. I knew the person before, but we were just friends. We had a great relationship where I began to ask questions of myself about a year ago.”
Abrams believes, “We are all made in God’s image and in God’s likeness, which means whoever you are, whatever you look like, whatever your gender is, whatever your color, whatever your culture, whatever you orientation (sexual), everybody is made in God’s image.
“There are so many people who are wounded, so many people who are hurt, so many people have been cast out; people have been pushed to the point where they actually have tried to hurt themselves and have even killed themselves because of what the religious community says about who they are.”
She continued, “One of the things that really hurts me is that for so many years, African-American churches, and maybe White churches as well, are saying that these people (gay) are going to hell. Some ministers (male) are being hypocrites because behind the scenes they are right there doing stuff. Many people, especially young people and the unchurched, when they come to church, want to be welcomed and affirmed.
“There is a difference. If I’m affirming you, that means that I am accepting you as you are and that you are free to serve in any capacity in the church as a member. If a same-gender loving person can clean the church, play the organ, sing in the choir, they should be able to lead the church…teach, preach and do all of that.”
Abrams, who holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from United Theological Seminary as well as a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Howard University, believes that two Scriptures are important to read as “scriptural references” as it relates to same-gender relationships: Luke 7: 1-10 and Matthew 8: 5-13 (about the Centurion’s servant). She also believed the Greek words “entimos duolos pais” when seen together mean beloved servant, which means male lover. This, according to Abrams, is different from the other servants in nature of the relationship.
Abrams also said that during this time in history, the law did not consider it adultery when men had sex with men; it was only viewed as adultery when men had sex with other women.
“The references in the Bible that discussed ‘homosexual acts’ referred to popular male prostitution during that time,” said Abrams. “The men would have sex with the male prostitutes, often. This is what was discouraged in Scriptures.
“However, nowhere does Jesus or any text discuss males who engaged in loving committed relationships with other males that were not totally sexual in nature, but were simply love between two consenting individuals. This is what we see between many same-sex couples on today, and what is being fought on today.”
Editor’s Note: Bishop Abrams has much more to say about her groundbreaking decision, the future of the Black church on this issue, and her plans moving forward in part 2 of this exclusive interview
Last Updated on Monday, 21 October 2013 19:43
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